Leaders share seven tips for adjusting your interview processes in the Zoom age

Industry Insights

Ideas to Inspire

Leaders share seven tips for adjusting your interview processes in the Zoom age

For many companies, the shift to remote work during the pandemic also ushered in an era of video-only interviews with prospective job candidates. With the continuing trend of remote work, virtual interviews will likely be common going forward, and leaders must learn to navigate the challenges of meeting and assessing an important job candidate without ever meeting them in person.

It can be difficult to evaluate job candidates in the absence of handshakes and other body language cues. Further, many people are still uncomfortable appearing on camera and may struggle to relax enough to truly engage. Add in different time zones, technical difficulties and background distractions, and it’s not surprising that many leaders have found making the switch to video interviews a challenge.

However, it’s certainly possible to make an effective hire in a completely virtual environment — you just have to discover the best ways to reintroduce the human connection. Below, seven members of Business Journals Leadership Trust share ways businesses and leaders can adjust their hiring and interviewing processes to find the best candidates in the Zoom age.

1. Widen the applicant pool.
Video interviews provide the opportunity to meet with more people than you can in person because you don’t have geographical and travel constraints. This gives you a wider applicant pool to choose from rather than being locked into choosing from a few candidates. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising

2. Make a more personal connection.
When you’re meeting via video — especially when at home or in a hybrid situation from the office — it’s easier to get more personal. Barking dogs, kid cameos — all those things are unavoidable, and we’ve gotten used to them now. You can let your guard down just a bit and empathize with the other person, which brings the opportunity for a personal connection. – Tom Rourick, RSM US LLP

3. Spend a little more time chatting.
On Zoom calls, many people want to get down to business versus spending time chit-chatting as you would in a face-to-face meeting. To get to know somebody over Zoom requires greater intentionality about spending time just talking about basic topics, as you would do in person. It feels forced at first, but once you get the hang of it and people relax on the other side of the camera, it works well. – Jonathan Keyser, Keyser

4. Eliminate background distractions.
Utilize a static, non-distracting virtual background. There are many new distractions in our video environment, and engaging in a clean, crisp presentation allows the person being interviewed to focus on the moment as opposed to the distractions in the background. This may be a metaphor for our new normal. – Rachel Namoff, Arapaho Asset Management

5. Don’t dress too formally.
I don’t dress formally. This helps create an atmosphere where we can converse honestly and frankly. We can all be nervous and anxious about this virtual environment, so it’s best to try to reduce that burden. – Gene Yoo, Resecurity, Inc.

6. Draw them into a conversation.
Since so many of us will be doing interviews from some part of our homes, I make a more personal connection with those I’m interviewing. I will talk about something in my background or address the pet noise that can be heard. The way they address my comment — by being engaging and personal or being aloof — helps me to see how they will fit into our team and gives insight that I would not have otherwise gained. – Tom Jaleski, Code Unlimited LLC

7. Start with a voice-only meeting.
Turn off the camera and have that first meeting as voice only. It allows everyone to be more comfortable. Save the visuals for a future meeting. – Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

Drop us a note to explore how You can future proof your brand and business